Pelosi on Border Deal: 'There Will be Sizable Funding for Food, Clothing, Medical Care for Immigrants'

Melanie Arter | January 30, 2019 | 8:29pm EST
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Getty Images/Win McNamee)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that congressional conferees working on a border security deal agree that there should be “sizable funding for food, clothing, medical care for immigrants,” as well as funding for more judges to adjudicate immigration cases, and sending taxpayer money to countries in the northern triangle to “alleviate” the conditions there that made them flee.

“We’re hoping that we can find common ground as soon as possible so that we can not only meet our responsibility to protect our border, to treat people coming here with dignity and respect but also to keep government open. Some of the things that we have in there I think will be very acceptable, goes on both sides of the ledger,” she said in a speech to the annual president’s conference of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

“We both care, all of us on either side of the wall question -- but all care about treating the people who come, so there will be sizable funding for food, clothing, medical care for immigrants coming across the border so we don’t have people dying in our custody - children. There’ll be sizable funding for additional judges to more quickly adjudicate these cases so that it doesn’t become, well, they’re here such a long time. Well, it’s because we have such a backlog too, so we’ll have that,” she said.

“There’ll be funding to send money to the countries where most of these people are coming from - the northern triangle - to try to alleviate some of the conditions that have exacerbated the situation there, to mitigate for the horror that some of them face,” Pelosi said.

She said if they can solve some of the problems illegal immigrants are having at home, “then people can stay home.”

“They come here, because they have no choice. It’s just a matter of life or death or danger for their families,” Pelosi said. She added that “there are other areas where we can find common ground, but those three are very personal in terms of the adjudication of the case, the care and feeding of them coming, and trying to help them stay at home.”

Pelosi said everyone has the obligation to treat people with respect. She quoted the Bible, saying, “When people talk about and the gospel of Matthew as being an inspiration to so many of us - ‘when I was hungry, you fed me. When I was naked, you clothed me. When I was homeless, you sheltered me. When I was in prison, you visited me.’ I always want to remind them that the rest of that gospel is the converse.

“ ‘When I was hungry, you didn’t feed me.’ See because at that date, God separates the people - when I was hungry, you fed me. When I was hungry, you didn’t feed me. When I was homeless, you didn’t shelter me.’ And that second part of it I think is very important for us all to remember, because the responsibility challenge is there both to respond positively, but not to respond negatively,” the speaker said.

“And I can’t find it in the Bible, but I quote it all the time, and I keep reading and reading the Bible. I know it’s there some place. It’s supposed to be in Isaiah, but I heard bishop say, ‘to minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’ It’s there somewhere in some words or another, but certainly, the spirit of it is there and that we all have a responsibility to act upon our beliefs and the dignity and worth of every person,” she added.


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